February 16, 2004



Drastic Slow Down In Thai Corn Exports


Corn exports from Thailand have slowed down following significant sales in recent weeks. Asian grain importers now fear that Thai corn may soon run out.


Thai corn sales increased rapidly as buyers in the region turned to corn from Thailand following the lack of exports from China and exorbitant price of importing US corn.


With the outbreak of bird flu in Thailand, the market was flooded with a deluge of Thai corn as exporters turned to overseas market following poor domestic demand.


But now, Thai corn exporters are finding that they have committed an exceedingly large amount for exports, and therefore are withholding new contracts until outstanding commitments are met.


"Thai corn suppliers have withdrawn," said a leading regional grains trader. "I don't think there are sellers anymore, at least not for spot cargoes. What I hear is that they have to meet a lot of outstanding commitments."


Regional grain traders estimate that at least 200,000 tonnes of Thai corn is awaiting shipment from now till the first week of March.


"Until most of the February shipments are out of the way, I don't think there would be any sellers," said one trader.